A User’s Manual for Your Brain

December 27, 2018

Moonshots rarely begin with brainstorming clever solutions. The kind of personal evolution we are seeking starts with the hard work of finding the right questions. And I believe the primary question to be; “What does it take to feel more capable?”

While there are several legs on the stool that comprise our well-being which must be in balance to optimize health and performance—nutrition, exercise, mindfulness—when it comes to feeling capable, agility, creativity, and the reduction of uncertainty are the tools which allow us to flourish.

Information is the reduction of uncertainty.

We receive information from our environment through our bodies to be interpreted by the brain.Whether it be through our hands with touch, or through movement with our legs, these are the in puts that our brains are filtering and processing—trying to make maps and make sense of the input to determine an output. The thalamus is the part of the brain that acts as the relay station to decide where information gets processed. With the amount of information that we take in, this can be a bottleneck, which is why we want to maximize the quality of the input. The more we are able to send good, accurate signals, the more we are able to nourish better connections.

Intelligence is the reduction of effort.

The prefrontal cortex is the area of the brain where we formulate ideas and explore our creativity. It is also the area through which we interpret what is happening and assign meaning to our situations. It has the important jobs of executive functioning and decision-making yet, through evolution, it is the newest part of our brains and is not actually fully developed until age 25. While this is the area that may carry a large part of the load in what we consider productivity, it is also the part that tends to frustrate us in the practice of mindfulness or meditation as either our thoughts race or our minds wander. Learning to be aware of our present state without assigning meaning or fearing an outcome is where we tend to struggle.

Attention is the self-directed attempt to maximize learning.

Our attempts at attention cause the activation of an area of our brain called the nucleus bacillus. It is this region which determines where our neurotransmitters need to be directed for immediate focus and action. With the number of places which we may have clamouring for our attention, this can be another area which becomes a bottleneck. In this way it can be metabolically expensive for us to be attentive leading to fatigue, confusion, and brain fog. Being able to be more conscious and deliberate in where we are focusing our attention, even in very small ways, can facilitate a cleaner process.

So, another question becomes: With the constraint of time, how can we maximize the benefit of our practices to upgrade our consciousness to match both our desires and our demands?

With brainfullness, we can integrate all of these mechanisms so we have a greater capacity to be more intentional and less reactive in our daily tasks. We can create coherence within the different areas of our brain by engaging our bodies and using our physiology to reverse engineer the process to reduce the clutter and create more neurological space. By what we are seeing biomechanically, we can target and activate certain areas within our bodies, being deliberate in our attention and movement, there by creating better connections neurochemically. In doing so, we increase our efficiency and, with less metabolic waste, we reduce the confusion and the brain fog, leaving more room for the creativity that comes with agility and clarity.

I think we all feel some degree of suffering, stagnation, and social pressure, but our self-care methods should be helping to alleviate our stress, not adding to it. Whether faced with major obstacles or the feeling of a thousand paper cuts, there may be times when we feel alone, sluggish, and even over-whelmed; but having a tool which is a gateway to tap into the system can help us to feel more confident and capable within our work, our relationships, and ourselves.

Learning to stay in our senses, honour and adhere to the details, and challenge our perceptions are all part of the process, giving us the skills to manage our lives through our internal environment rather than relying on the feedback of the external. And whether you use brainfullness instead of mindfulness or as a springboard that makes mindfulness and meditation more attainable to you is part of the beauty that is the flexibility of this practice.

There is a paradox of choice in all of the things we think we ‘should’ be doing, but brainfullness allows us to start at the thin end of the wedge and set ourselves up for success. By activating another system and shifting our attention, it buys us some time to give us a greater degree of sovereignty in making better choices. Having more awareness in how we use our bodies gives us a greater ability to train our brains and more agency in how we live our lives.

A key to navigating and mastering our internal environment is changing our perception of uncertainty.Having the audacity to challenge our personal and cultural norms, the authenticity to formulate an individualized plan, and a process that offers achievability through precise simplicity is the bedrock for answering life’s big questions and maximizing our health and well-being.

Starting in 2019 I am very excited to be offering Brainfullness workshops to introduce you to this concept and show you how to apply it as your own practice. Whether you are recovering from injury or dealing with anxiety, trying to make better lifestyle decisions or reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and other dementias, you will be given the strategies in this workshop which will translate to an immediate day- to – day shift. To join me in this process of self-transformation and brain optimization, or to simply be better and gain an edge, send me an email for further information.

Brainfullness. Learn the resets. See you at the workshop!

Dr. Tabrizi is a chiropractor, osteopath and a passionate member of both the local and scientific community, whose goal is to teach that the pursuit of optimal health and wellness is much more than being symptom-free. His practice is rooted in the philosophy of treating the person rather than just treating the illness or ailment. As a result of his interdisciplinary training, Dr. Tabrizi has developed a neuroscience-based therapeutic education approach to treating his patients, focusing on healing illness from a wider perspective, placing equal responsibility on patient as well as practitioner. Dr. Tabrizi aims to educate his patients and provide them with the tools and framework needed to integrate pain management and healthy living into the fabric of their everyday lives.

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